There was a little girl, who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad she was horrid!
So goes the old rhyme that made any curly haired girl feel as if she were horrid all of the time, having more than just one curl in the middle of her forehead.
It seems that literature and film have also placed the curly haired girl , and boy too, on the list of quirky, murderous, volatile and just plain odd characters of fiction.
Think of the great women of literature for a moment. Now before you point out that Eliza Bennet had curly hair, let me remind you that hair style fashions of the time dictated it. Elizabeth Bennet wore forced ringlets into her otherwise naturally straight hair.
Daisy Buchanan, from The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Julia from Orwell’s 1984, Cathy Ames from East of Eden, Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Tess from Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Emma Bovary from Madame Bovary, just to name a few, all had straight hair. Don’t believe me? Check out The Composites, a site developed by Brian Joseph Davis. The site is self described by Davis. “Images created using a commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters.”
OK, I get it! Female protagonists of literature must have straight hair in order to be perceived as being serious, attractive and normal.
Just think of the words used to describe curly hair; unruly, wild, exotic, untamed, and frizzy. Now here are a few describing straight hair; polished, shiny, silky, smooth, and flowing. Who would you ask out on a date?
Michael Douglas had an extra marital affair with a blonde curly haired Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. She likes married men, knives, elevators and bunnies. We all know how well that turned out.
When John Cleese needed a pet loving hit man to kill an elderly witness to a crime in his film A Fish Called Wanda, he picked Michael Palin, who promptly permed his hair and gave the world K-K-Ken Pile, and did no favors to curly haired men anywhere on this planet.
I can see that the shape of my face looks different when I wear my hair straight.One night when I was out to dinner with my husband, our friends refused to come over and say hello because, “We thought he was with a different woman!” I wonder would they have called to tell me that? Hmm. I know I look different with straight hair, but I am also treated differently too. I am perceived as being more jovial, quirky and a good sport with curly hair. With straight hair I am taken more seriously, treated standoffish, whilst at the same time being told that it is “a sexy look.”
That being said, who’s the naughty girl now, the horrid girl with the curls who seems approachable and jovial, or the good girl with straight hair who gets more looks but less chat?
I like my curly hair. Yes it is quirky, but it is me. I like having straight hair too. It does make me feel polished. But most of all I like having the choice of being curly or straight.
Now let me get back to boiling this little rabbit.